uk music bame

UK Music calls for the industry to ditch ‘BAME’

The demand comes in the lead up to the publication of UK’s Music’s report into diversity in the industry and the launch of its Ten-Point Plan to boost diversity and inclusion.

  • 22 Oct 2020
  • min read

UK Music’s Diversity Taskforce has called on the music industry ditch the term ‘BAME’, describing it as ‘outdated and offensive’.

BAME stands for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic. It does not relate to country origin or affiliation and is seen as misleading and inappropriate by many, particularly those from diverse communities.

Following wide-ranging discussions across the music industry and after holding a series of focus groups, the Diversity Taskforce agreed to push for the term ‘BAME’ to be no longer used.

The recommendation to end the use of the acronym is a key part of a new and wide-ranging Ten-Point Plan to boost diversity and inclusion in the music industry, which has been agreed by UK Music’s members.

The Taskforce hopes that ending the use of the term is a way of acknowledging the unique experiences of people from different ethnic backgrounds and that the move will pave the way for greater discussion and insight in the future.

UK Music’s Diversity Taskforce chair Ammo Talwar MBE says change was urgently needed following a year where the issue of race had been brought into sharp focus by the death of George Floyd in the States and the Black Lives Matter protests across the globe.

Ammo Talwar MBE, chair, UK Music’s Diversity Taskforce MBE said: ‘Our report on workforce diversity in the music industry highlights where positive progress is being made, but also where more strategic long-term work and investment is urgently needed.

‘There is now an unstoppable momentum for change at pace to rapidly improve diversity in the music business and across society.

‘One key change we want to see is the end of the use of a term which is outdated and offensive to many people from Black, Asian and other diverse communities.

‘It is a term that is often used in reports and campaigns, but it’s not relevant in today’s modern music industry and jars with many in diverse communities.

‘I have had many conversations with people in the music industry who want to see the end of an acronym which works against the sense of community and common purpose that we are all working so hard to build in the music industry and across society.

‘Our UK Music Taskforce, with the support of many of our partners in the music industry, want the term consigned to the dustbin of history. It’s a key step on the path to an inclusive, welcoming culture that we all want to foster.

‘If there is a need to refer to people’s heritage, it is far better to use a word like ‘Black’, ‘Asian’ or something more specific - rather than a careless catch-all acronym.

‘Our diversity is the source of our greatest strength in the music industry.  However, we need to bring about further change to ensure our world-leading industry is as diverse and inclusive as possible.’

Andrea C. Martin, chief executive, PRS for Music, said: ‘PRS for Music supports the call to end the use of the term ‘BAME’. This is a progressive step towards creating and embedding a more inclusive culture, and is just one of the positive changes we are embracing as an organisation. PRS for Music actively supports the UK Music Diversity Taskforce and its mission to make our industry a fair and inclusive space for everyone, at every level.’